Enterprising students raise funds for ball

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:00 31/05/2014
waimea college
MARTIN DE RUYTER/ Fairfax NZ
WOODEN WARES: Members of the Waimea College Special Education Star Group, clockwise from front left, Isaiah Withers, Jason Garlick, Alex Butzbach, Bronwyn Pownall (Bunnings), Scott Lowden, Terry Wilkin (teacher), Matt Black and James Ellery with large wood domino pieces they have made.

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An old-fashioned game has been given a new twist by a group of special needs students from Waimea College.

They have created large dominoes, handmade from planks of wood, with beer bottle tops glued into them. They want to sell the sets through New Zealand to raise funds for their end-of-year ball.

Waimea College special needs department teacher Terry Wilkin said making the large, wooden dominoes was a group decision and a community effort.

Material had been donated by Bunnings Warehouse and Carter Holt Harvey. The group had also visited several clubs and pubs through the region to collect the beer bottle tops which they glued on to the wooden planks to represent the numbers.

A group of five special needs students were behind the project and they were learning a range of skills through doing it.

The students needed to go out and market the sets and pitch them to potential buyers, which would help their communication skills.

"For them to do this, it's huge," Wilkin said.

Alex Butzbach, 14, was part of the team behind the dominoes. He said it took about eight hours to make each set. It was hard work but a "good idea", he said.

He said they had to cut the blocks to size, use drills and precise measurements.

The funds raised would go towards the leavers ball for the special education class, which Wilkin said the students looked forward to all year.

The group donated the first set of dominoes to Pinnacle House in Richmond where those 21 and over with mental and physical would take part in activities.

Pinnacle House assistant manager Sheryl Waterhouse said the set donated to the house would be well used.

"We have some very able young people who will really enjoy getting down on the floor and interacting with them."

The group would play the game on rainy days.

"It's another fun thing we can do to give them a good life," Waterhouse said.

There were 13 people of varying physical and mental disabilities who attended Pinnacle House which worked to get them involved in the community through work and activities.

Anyone who wanted to purchase a set of large dominoes could contact Scott Lowden at Scott.Lowden@waimea.school.nz

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- The Nelson Mail

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